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Justiscj726

Underwhelming Undergrad GPA??

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Hey all! Was just wondering what people have experienced applying to PhD programs with a pretty bad undergrad GPA. Some of the graduate coordinators I’ve talked to have kind of brushed it off and said not to worry and some have seemed more concerned about it. 

Little background: Been out of undergrad for about 5 years and will finish my masters with around a 3.8.

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Justiscj726 said:

Hey all! Was just wondering what people have experienced applying to PhD programs with a pretty bad undergrad GPA. Some of the graduate coordinators I’ve talked to have kind of brushed it off and said not to worry and some have seemed more concerned about it. 

Little background: Been out of undergrad for about 5 years and will finish my masters with around a 3.8.

Thanks!

Hey there. Different field, but I had a similar situation. I did not have a strong UGRAD GPA at around 2.9 when I first started to apply to graduate programs and I had a very difficult time getting a graduate program to say yes to be even for a master's degree, but luckily I did eventually find one. (They took me because I had a pretty good GRE score and they felt it was worth the gamble admitting me) I completed the master's degree in a year and a half and applied to PhD programs with a master's GPA of 3.67 (Not great, but a huge improvement from UGRAD) and I got in to most of the programs I applied to. I ended up graduating with a 3.60 from the master's but I think as long as a master's GPA is above a 3.5 I doubt many ad committees will even care about your UGRAD GPA or your Master's GPA. Unless you are applying to highly competitive programs (like Ivy League) I would say you are probably fine. Most programs only care about your most recent academic achievement. They will probably view it all and you will need to send them transcripts for it all, but will base the decision on overall trend and the most recent academic success. Last note, GPA is probably not even in the top three aspects of the application they care about. Believe it, or not, GPA and GRE are just boxes they tick off that you passed some threshold and only take a closer look if there are concerns. Focus a lot of attention on your SOP and securing exceptional recommendations as those are the two most important pieces of the application dossier.

Edited by Sandmaster

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8 hours ago, Sandmaster said:

Hey there. Different field, but I had a similar situation. I did not have a strong UGRAD GPA at around 2.9 when I first started to apply to graduate programs and I had a very difficult time getting a graduate program to say yes to be even for a master's degree, but luckily I did eventually find one. (They took me because I had a pretty good GRE score and they felt it was worth the gamble admitting me) I completed the master's degree in a year and a half and applied to PhD programs with a master's GPA of 3.67 (Not great, but a huge improvement from UGRAD) and I got in to most of the programs I applied to. I ended up graduating with a 3.60 from the master's but I think as long as a master's GPA is above a 3.5 I doubt many ad committees will even care about your UGRAD GPA or your Master's GPA. Unless you are applying to highly competitive programs (like Ivy League) I would say you are probably fine. Most programs only care about your most recent academic achievement. They will probably view it all and you will need to send them transcripts for it all, but will base the decision on overall trend and the most recent academic success. Last note, GPA is probably not even in the top three aspects of the application they care about. Believe it, or not, GPA and GRE are just boxes they tick off that you passed some threshold and only take a closer look if there are concerns. Focus a lot of attention on your SOP and securing exceptional recommendations as those are the two most important pieces of the application dossier.

Thank you! This is extremely helpful and consistent with some other people in my (our) situation. I have great recs from my undergrad and grad professors, I’ll make contact with some professors in my prospective programs, write a killer SOP and keep up my GPA in grad and hope ill be fine!

Edited by Justiscj726

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